The ice cream lady sings
What do you get when you cross an opera singer and a chef? Opera Ice Cream of course
When, in the midst of the economic downturn, opera singer Kerry McDunnough found she was getting less opera work, and her partner, chef Spasko Mitreski, was doing fewer shifts at his restaurant, they teamed up to create a novel solution: Opera Ice Cream.
Kerry McDunnough and her ice cream stall
The duo started offering themselves for hire at events, with Kerry supplying the opera while Spasko provided homemade ice cream, served from a traditional Victorian bicycle. Kerry, who trained at Dalhousie University, Canada and the Royal Academy of Music, has made operatic and concert performances on both sides of the Atlantic, and premiered a number of works by leading composers, both live and televised. She juggles running the ice cream business with singing engagements, and even finds time to spend days busking in towns as far afield as Bath. “We’ve been booked for a range of events,” says Kerry, “everything from weddings to large events like the Notting Hill Carnival, Marylebone Summer Fayre, Carnaby Street Halloween Fair, Dulwich Festival, Earl’s Court Real Food Festival, and even Leicester Food and Drink Festival: we do travel around a bit. We’re based in Haringey so we always do the Green Fair here.” Events they have coming up include The Luton and Tottenham Carnival, Marylebone Summer Fair and Haringey Green Fair, Kew Fete, various school fairs, and Kent Autorama, which features lots of vintage cars. “They love our Victorian bicycle,” explains Kerry. Being in the ice cream business, Kerry admits that Opera’s success is dependent on the weather, and has her fingers firmly crossed for a good summer. They’ve learnt a lot of lessons from last summer’s meteorological disappointment, and this year branched out into crêpes and homemade lemonade. Keen on local food, they insist on getting their ingredients from producers at London’s farmers’ markets, including milk from Alham Wood Dairy, and organic eggs from Rookery Farm. Kerry buys the ingredients for the crêpes from farmers’ markets too, including the ham filling: “When we go to the market to sell our ice cream, we just do all our ingredients shopping at the same time.” They can be regularly found selling their own wares at Swiss Cottage market, Shepherds in Primrose Hill, and the Duck Pond market in Ruislip.